If you know me and follow along on my Instagram, it's no secret that autumn in England is absolutely fantastic. While I was having a really difficult time transitioning to a city life in this new country, the gorgeous weather and stunning scenery gave me something to truly enjoy, a small bit of our new world to embrace and love with my whole heart.
I'm a crazy person and always counted winter as my favorite - but let me clarify: winter is my favorite season back home; winter is my least favorite season in England. Back home, autumn is my second favorite season, but I love it with the same kind of enthusiasm. The transition out of my least favorite season in Oklahoma (the agony of an Oklahoman summer... oh, it will be the death of me one day!) and into fall always brought the cooler temperatures, shorter days, and vivid, new colors that revived me and put a spring in my step.
We also really know how to celebrate the season of autumn in America. I'm sure commercialism and consumerism probably have something to do with it, but I'm ignoring it because we just do everything big - go big or go home mentality to the max. I was giddy at the prospect of apple cider, pumpkins and gourds, smells of cinnamon and nutmeg filling the air in a place where the temperature consistently reflected the autumnal weather I've always dreamed of (if you're from Oklahoma, I don't have to explain that statement to you) as the signs of the season surrounded me in full force.
Oh, how wrong I was.
Maybe it's just living in the city, maybe it really is England as a whole - I don't know. What I do know is that no one seemed to be embracing the season! No decorations in shop windows, no apple cider or pumpkin spice lattes (not that I drink PSLs anyway, but I love the idea of them). AND NO PUMPKINS. Aside from a batch of the teeny tiny pumpkins you can fit in your palm, I saw pumpkins nowhere in Birmingham. It was quite upsetting, to be honest. Many a text message were sent to my special friend Jen in great despair; she adores fall even more than I do, so I knew she would understand my distress!
I even asked a few local friends why they didn't celebrate fall here; they looked at me funny and asked what in the world there is to celebrate about a season. They thought the idea was totally strange. I had a good think about the subject, though, and I decided that we celebrate it probably because we have multiple calendar occasions to embrace everything autumn has to offer. Not only do we have Halloween (which was not really a big deal here - again, maybe part of it is living in city centre), but we also have Thanksgiving - something the Brits obviously don't have. And if you ask me why they don't celebrate Thanksgiving here, I'm probably going to not be your friend anymore until you read a few history books. We have an entire holiday in the fall that they just don't have here, and that holiday is a big one for us. It's also the official barrier between the celebration of the fall and winter seasons, something I'm learning to appreciate in a whole new way.
Okay, I'm off my soapbox now, but I had to get that off my chest. Despite their lack of celebration, I am still looking forward to fall in England when it comes around again. Holy moly, it's so so so beautiful!
To help ease my pain at the lack of just about everything I love to consume during the autumn months, my mom and Jen sent a couple of amazing care packages. If you're reading this and you're not from the States, I probably can't explain to you how quintessentially fall these things in the packages are, but it makes my heart so happy just thinking about them and the joy they brought me!
Side note: the season is called "Autumn" right? But where in the heck did "Fall" come from? Well, I think I figured that out while we were on a train here in Birmingham. There was an advertisement that said something about new schedules during "Leaf Fall"... duh! Leaf fall... fall... it makes so much sense. I thought for a long time that leaves falling might have something to do with it, but I had never heard the season or time period referred to as Leaf Fall until moving here. The list of things I have learned while residing in England grows every day, people.
These are just a bunch of pictures that I took during autumn in Birmingham. If you take a peek at individual posts of the adventures we took in September, October, and November, you'll see plenty more photos of autumn on display in England. It's truly a sight to be seen, and I guarantee that I will ache for autumn in England when we're back at home.
|GLORY, GLORY, HALLELUJAH! My mother is incredible! And that package cost $88 to ship... oof.|
|The package that Jen sent me for easing my autumn woes. The percussion group will remember the cookies I made with those pumpkin spice chips - they were delicious, if I do say so myself!|
|A nearly deserted Victoria Square in Birmingham on a Friday afternoon - practically unheard of!|
|"My" tree on our walk to Tesco sported the best autumn flair I've ever seen!|
|Autumn brings the rains and cloudy skies, but I caught this rainbow just outside our bedroom window one afternoon.|
Like I said, autumn in England is glorious and I absolutely love it. The only way it could be better would be if they celebrated the season and all it has to offer - American style! Hehe.
(Be sure to check out my posts about Warwick, Kenilworth, Oxford, and Moseley if you want to see England in all its autumnal glory!)